Ukrainian government unveils fund to finance startups

The Ukrainian government unveiled a new fund on Monday to finance Ukrainian startups in a bid to develop the country’s high-tech sector.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk gave a briefing on the start of the Ukrainian Startup Fund (USF) on the day, the government’s press service said.

Through the new fund, the Ukrainian government plans to allocate 280 million Hryvnia (11.7 million U.S. dollars) to finance Ukrainian startups by the end of 2020, according to the press service.

“By the end of this year, we will give out the first share of 40 million Hryvnia (1.6 million dollars) to business projects that will be selected. Next year we will allocated 60 million Hryvnia (2.5 million U.S. dollars) per quarter, which will amount to 240 million in total by the end of 2020,” said Honcharuk.

The USF plans to finance projects associated with artificial intelligence, augmented reality, big data, blockchain, cybersecurity, defense, medical industry and healthcare, robotics, e-commerce, among others, he said.

“The Government will not get involved with businesses directly. Instead, we will support startups and encourage Ukrainians to start businesses, we will enable Ukrainian economic development and create more jobs. This will benefit the overall well-being of our people,” said Honcharuk.

The USF is a state-owned fund launched at the initiative of the Ukrainian government. It started receiving applications on Monday, media reports said.